Don’t rush Charter change, Negros bishops tell Duterte

Don’t rush Charter change, Negros bishops tell Duterte

Bishop Patricio Buzon of Bacolod and three other bishops of Negros Island urge more discussion on Charter change. FILE PHOTO

Roy Lagarde

March 27, 2018

Manila, Philippines

The four Catholic bishops of Negros Island urged President Rodrigo Duterte not to rush Charter change, stressing the importance of public discussion.

In a joint pastoral guideline, the prelates said that amending the Constitution is a “very serious matter” that needs active discussion from the public and stakeholders.

“We urge the President and legislators not to rush the shift to Federalism because what is at stake here is not only the present generation of Filipinos, but the future generations as well,” the bishops said.

“From the moral standpoint, the Church expresses concern whether the proposed change would lead us to the attainment of the common good. The Church expresses concern whether it would be for the better or for the worse,” they said.

The statement was signed by Bishops Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos, Patricio Buzon of Bacolod, Julito Cortes of Dumaguete, and Bishop-elect Louie Galbines Kabankalan.

The church officials urge the Charter change consultative committee studying amendments of the 1987 Constitution to hold consultations towards Federalism.

The bishops hoped that the 19 members of the committee will always be guided by the “principle of the common good” in their deliberations and resolutions.

Echoing the call of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, they called on the people to get involved and form “circles of discernment” to discuss the proposed Charter change.

“We urge all groups and organizations, faith-based and non-faith-based, to help in the promotion of awareness and education of our people on this issue,” they added.